First of all, I want to extend a thank you for the warm welcome I’ve received to the community. It’s been truly amazing to experience that level of support. As I’m spending time in each of our sites, I’m learning more and more about the kids we have and their stories. One has struck a significant chord with me and I wanted to share that with you.
Missouri’s Youth of the Year was determined in Jefferson City this week, and I’d like to congratulate Olivia C. of the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Charles for taking home top honor! While each of the 14 candidates was outstanding, I’m very biased in thinking our candidate is the cream of the crop.
Morgan is 16 years old and a sophomore at Green Ridge. I first met Morgan when she spoke in front of both the Sunrise and Noonday Optimists clubs here in Sedalia. The evolution in her performance from the Sunrise Optimists to the Noonday in less than six hours was amazing to me. Her confidence, her body language, her voice inflection; quite literally everything about her improved over two recitations of her speech. Her performance became even more breathtaking over the next two weeks, and she wowed the judges in Jefferson City.
That in a nutshell describes the effect our programs on youth. Some of those effects don’t show up in as short a timeframe as six hours, but they do resonate. Improved grades, improved behaviors, improved attitudes, a belief that they have a future beyond anything they ever dreamed possible. All of these outcomes are realities for our members.
I come across even more impressed with Morgan every time I meet with her. Given how much she has grown in the few short weeks I’ve known her, I’m excited to see how much further she has to go. My promise to Morgan, and to all Club members, is we will support your growth in every way we can. Through our programs, mentoring, and relationships our members are being prepared to become the leaders of our society. I can’t wait to see where they end up. If you’re interested in learning more about the Club, I encourage you to visit our website or to call us at (660) 826-8331.
Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri